A balanced approach

To tech-positive parenting

Technology Journey

4 phases to gradually introduce smartphones & apps

Parents of digital natives are in unfamiliar territory, because we didn't grow up with the technology that kids have today. Just because it's unfamiliar doesn't mean it's uncharted. The articles below provide guidance on how to set parental controls for each phase and other suggestions for teaching intentional smartphone usage.

Protect your kids with the parental controls, and empower your kids by saying 'yes' to Village Social, a kid-friendly and private network.

Read the introduction

Phase 1. Family device

Use a shared device to start teaching important skills. Establish your family's technology culture to set the foundation for your kid to use his or her own smartphone safely and with intention when the time is right.

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Phase 2. (un)Smartphone

Transform an iPhone into a basic phone with no internet or app store. It only takes a couple of minutes and is 100% kid safe. Now you can have peace of mind and a solution that grows with your son or daughter.

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Phase 3a. Limited entertainment apps

Your son or daughter has shown responsibility with their device and is ready for more. Allow limited entertainment apps including video and games. In this phase he or she should learn healthy habits for intentional use while being protected from the dark side of social media.

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Phase 3b. Introducing social media

Just like the smartphone, your son or daughter can go through gradual steps to learn about social media. In this phase, you provide limited access to Instagram, Amino, or Tik Tok in a controlled environment. You may let them use your phone or a shared family device (computer, tablet or phone). Or you can use parental controls to ensure they only use the risky apps when an adult is present.

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Phase 4. Gaining independence

Now your son or daughter has demonstrated good choices in real life and digital life. As he or she gets closer to digital independence, help build a positive online image to achieve his or her goals. This includes creating social media profiles to create an online brand to help with college admissions or finding employment.

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Resources

Smartphone Agreement

Use our online wizard to create a custom agreement and receive a PDF copy by email. There's a simple and detailed version for your kid plus a parent version for you.

iOS Settings

Use our simple guide to implement recommended iOS screen time settings.

Setup you iPhone

Android Settings

Use our simple guide to implement recommended Android Family Link settings.

Setup your Android

Digital Grounding

Easy steps to temporarily limit access on an iPhone

How to Guide

Private. Safe. Healthy.

Village Social is an essential tool for your family's technology journey. It empowers your kids to connect and have fun with friends in a protected environment. With safety features such as explicit image blocking and built-in parental controls, you can feel good that your kid is learning in a healthy environment.

Works on any device with browser